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Dubai Finance Department launches smart fiscal programme.

Dubai: The Dubai Department of Finance on Monday launched a new programme aimed at saving hundreds of millions of dirhams and enhancing the emirate's economic growth.

Called Smart Fiscal Planning, the programme will be implemented across 34 government entities in Dubai, and will address weaknesses in fiscal planning and budgeting process, according to Abdul Rahman Al Saleh, Director General of the Department of Finance.

"The Smart Fiscal Planning programme will save Dubai's government hundreds of millions of dirhams in expenses, streamline processes and directly impact the achievement of the Department of Finance's vision of sound management of public finance," he said.

The implementation of the programme will be overseen by the Reform Programme Steering Committee headed by the Finance Department.

Through the smart programme, the fiscal planning will be linked with strategic planning paving way for the government to establish a performance-based budget.

An advanced application, Oracle Hyperion Public Sector Planning and Budgeting, is used to automate the budgeting processes across government entities.

The programme was launched by Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai government's Supreme Fiscal Committee. He emphasised the importance of the role played by a unified fiscal planning system in promoting fiscal sustainability and supporting the achievement of the emirate's strategic plan.

Major transformation

Arif Ahli, Executive Director of budget and planning at the Department of Finance, said that the launch of this programme signifies the beginning of major transformation of all fiscal planning, budgeting and strategic planning activities throughout government entities. "It will also enable the Department of Finance to optimise resource allocation and administration of public funds," he said.

He further confirmed that the new programme will not only save money and effort but will also strengthen the role of the control bodies as they supervise the financial sectors across the emirate.

This initiative comes in line with Dubai's strategy to transform into smart government. "Ongoing advancements in budget preparation, execution and administration have become inevitable due to the challenges faced by governments," Ahli said.

Gerhard Steger, Director General, Directorate for Budget and Public Finance, Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, who attended the launch, said that Dubai's smart fiscal initiative tries to focus on the fiscal performance "which is a crucial thing".

"For steering the budget appropriately you need to combine fiscal discipline and performance of government entities. And this is what Dubai is trying to do, by implementing this new programme," he said.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Feb 18, 2014
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